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International Monetary Fund. European Dept.
This Selected Issues papers provide details of the sources and uses of the non-financial corporation saving and highlights the role of multinational corporations (MNCs). The paper also discusses the implications to the external sector assessment and policy recommendations. The large Dutch international investment position reflects its status as an international corporate center. The study shows that large trade surpluses and small primary income balances are consistent with the dominance of MNCs in the Netherlands’ external positions. Separating MNCs’ activities from the Dutch current account for the external sector assessment is expected to help identify underlying policy distortions. Separating MNCs’ activities would help identify imbalances of other economic sectors. The small and medium enterprises are stagnant and remain financially constrained. Small household net saving hides the fact that households are still highly leveraged, and their consumption constrained by a stagnating disposable income. Therefore, improving statistics and separating MNCs’ activities from both internal and external accounts would help identify domestic policy distortions and address imbalances effectively.
International Monetary Fund. European Dept.
This Selected Issues paper focuses on various aspects of corporate debt in France. The increase in debt has financed real investments, as well as acquisition of financial assets and extension of intercompany loans. The increase in debt (and its level) appears less worrisome when debt is consolidated among nonfinancial corporations. Despite the increase in the stock of debt, debt service has increased moderately. A cross-country regression analysis reveals that French publicly listed firms are on average not more indebted and have not increased their debt more than peers in other countries, after controlling for firm and sector characteristics as well as common time effects. However, the increase in debt is concentrated among large firms with sizeable leverage in a few industries, raising questions about these firms’ ability to service this debt when interest rates rise. Stress test scenarios of a large and sudden increase in interest rates suggest that corporate debt at risk could be significant at a macroeconomic level, but that cash buffers would mitigate the impact of the shock on debt service.
Emma Angulo and Alicia Hierro
This paper analyzes asymmetries in direct investment positions reported in the Coordinated Direct Investment Survey (CDIS) following a top down approach. First, it examines asymmetries at global level; second, it examines asymmetries between CDIS reported and derived data for individual economies; and third, the paper analyzes data at bilateral economy level. Then, the paper explores seven main reasons for asymmetries, including those arising even when economies follow international standards. Finally, the paper includes a section on addressing bilateral asymmetries and concludes with specific planned actions to reduce asymmetries, including initiatives led by international organizations.
Miss Rita Mesias

Abstract

This Coordinated Direct Investment Survey Guide (Guide) has been prepared to assist economies in participating in the Coordinated Direct Investment Survey (CDIS). The CDIS is being conducted under the auspices of the Statistics Department of the IMF across a wide range of economies. The survey is conducted simultaneously by all participating economies; uses consistent definitions; and encourages best practices in collecting, compiling, and disseminating data on direct investment positions. The CDIS is thus an important tool in capturing world totals and the geographic distribution of direct investment positions, thereby contributing to important new understandings of the extent of globalization, and improving the overall quality of direct investment data worldwide. As of the writing of this updated Guide, more than 100 economies participate in the CDIS.

International Monetary Fund
In recent years, the IMF has released a growing number of reports and other documents covering economic and financial developments and trends in member countries. Each report, prepared by a staff team after discussions with government officials, is published at the option of the member country.
International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department

Abstract

This paper looks at the longer-term challenges pension funds face as population age and key issues to address to enhance their risk management practices and their role as long-term investors. The paper focuses primarily on Japan, the Netherlands, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States, where funded pension plans are most developed. The size of pension savings in these countries, their projected growth, and the recent development of funded pension schemes in other countries highlight the fast-growing importance of pension funds for international capital markets and to financial stability.

Mr. Neil K. Patterson, Ms. Marie Montanjees, Colleen Cardillo, and Mr. John Motala

Abstract

The increasing importance of multinational enterprises in the global economy has stimulated interest in improving the availability, accuracy, and comparability of foreign direct investment (FDI) statistics among policymakers, analysts, and statisticians. This report notes recent trends in FDI and examines the progress made in moving toward compilation of FDI statistics in accordance with standards established by the IMF and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). The report also reviews international recommendations for the compilation, analysis, and dissemination of FDI data and notes discrepancies in global balance of payments statistics and in data on bilateral FDI stocks. In addition, the report provides information on selected countries current practices in measuring FDI--on the basis of results from a joint IMF/OECD survey that covered 30 OECD countries and 31 other IMF member countries and was the subject of Foreign Direct Investment Statistics: How Countries Measure FDI 2001, published by the IMF and OECD in 2003.

International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department

Abstract

This September 2004 issue of the Global Financial Stability Report highlights that over the past six months, the global financial system, especially the health of financial intermediaries, has been further strengthened by the broadening economic recovery. The financial system has not looked as resilient as it does in the summer of 2004, in the three years since the bursting of the equity bubble. Financial intermediaries, banks and nonbanks alike, have strengthened their balance sheets to a point where they could, if necessary, absorb considerable shocks.

Mrs. Anne C Jansen, Mr. Donald J Mathieson, Mr. Barry J. Eichengreen, Ms. Laura E. Kodres, Mr. Bankim Chadha, and Mr. Sunil Sharma

Abstract

Hedge funds are collective investment vehicles, often organized as private partnerships and resident offshore for tax and regulatory purposes. Their legal status places few restrictions on their portfolios and transactions, leaving their managers free to use short sales, derivative securities, and leverage to raise returns and cushion risk. This paper considers the role of hedge funds in financial market dynamics, with particular reference to the Asian crisis.

Mr. Benedikt Braumann
This paper examines the link between capital stock and unemployment persistence. An overlapping-generations model with endogenous labor supply and imperfect competition is presented. It is used to interpret the unusual persistence of unemployment in Trinidad and Tobago during the last twenty years. Although real wages are 60 percent lower today than in the mid-1980s, unemployment continues to be very high. The paper argues that an important part of the explanation lies in the decline of capital stock in this country after years of very low savings and investment. Policies to address this capital shortage are discussed.